FOR both Hadleigh United and Halstead Town the dream of Wembley is one step closer, with both teams through to the preliminary round of the FA Cup, which takes place on Saturday (3pm).
Both teams, who are set to take on higher-league opposition, hope they can look forward to a place in the first qualifying round and a lucrative £1,750 if they win.
Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Hadleigh United face a tough game away at Harlow Town, with the Ryman League Division One North team winning their first game of the season 1-0 away to Heybridge Swifts on Saturday.
“It’s a massive game for our football club,” said Hadleigh manager Stuart Crawford. “There is a huge amount of money at stake, especially for a club of our size.
It’s a tough draw, and it it’ll be a tough game against one of the best teams in the league above. It’ll be massive.”
Although winger Danny Allen is still out with a broken foot, Crawford revealed there will are no fresh injury concerns from the weekend.
The winners will face either Whitton United or Aveley away on Saturday, September 8.
Thurlow Nunn First Division outfit Halstead Town also face opposition from Ryman One North, as they play Brentwood Town at Rosemary Lane.
Halstead manager Jimmy Holder hopes there will be no new injuries for Saturday.
Additionally, Holder is keeping positive that defender Marcus Warren and midfielder James Murray, who limped off after just 37 minutes of Saturday’s league game against Swaffham Town, will be fit for the match.
“We have a home advantage which is always good,” said Holder. “We will have to be on top of our game as they (Brentwood Town) are higher opposition, but we can only do our best, and if we do our best, we’ve got every chance.”
The winners will face either Wroxham or Great Wakering Rovers away on Saturday, September 8.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, Long Melford face Cambridge University Press at home, while Cornard United travel to March Town United. Both games are on Saturday (3pm).